The Association of Malay Importers and Traders of Motor Vehicles Malaysia (Pekema), Sarawak branch, has called on the federal government to review the policy to end the Approved Permit (AP) system for vehicles in December 2015.

Its chairman Datuk Abang Khalid Abang Marzuki said the government should consider the situation of Bumiputera automotive entrepreneurs in Sabah and Sarawak, who are currently behind their counterparts in Peninsular Malaysia.

According to him, the automotive entrepreneurs in Sarawak have just started to stabilise their businesses and are trying to follow their Peninsular counterparts in expanding into other industries like hotel and property.

He said Pekema Sarawak felt that its members” efforts to expand into other industries have become more difficult when the government announced the National Automotive Policy and its objective to end the AP system in 2015.

“The AP system has really helped to create Bumiputera entrepreneurs in the automotive business in line with its original objective.

Because of this, we are calling on the government to review its decision which will cause Bumiputera entrepreneurs to suffer losses,” he told Bernama today.

PEKEMA can boast having the most 'Datuk' on it board.

Pekema Sarawak has 32 members.

Abang Khalid said Bumiputera entrepreneurs holding APs have never burdened the government but contributed in the form of paying excise duties and donations through Yayasan Pekema.

He said since the APs were introduced 1980s, Malaysia has faced three economic slowdowns but none of the Bumiputra automotive entrepreneurs had approached the government for help.

“During the economic crisis, many Bumiputera automotive entrepreneurs became bankrupt and took huge loans to save their investments. On our own we continued to carry on without burdening the government,” he added.

Pekema Sarawak also called on the government to review the RM10,000 charge for the issuance of each open AP.

“All players in the automotive industry should incur the charge, including the franchise holders, and not just the AP holders. If we want fairness, be fair to all,” Abang Khalid said.

He said the charge made up a sizeable sum in the operation cost of Bumiputera automotive entrepreneurs.

Pekema Sarawak will hold a seminar on the implications of the National Automotive Policy for Bumiputera automotive entrepreneurs next month or in April this year.

Abang Khalid said several well-known figures connected with the local automotive industry from the private sector and government are expected to present their working papers. – Bernama